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Stir Fry Veg


How often do we have odd vegetables left over; not quite enough to feed the whole family but you don’t want to throw them out? In my house they sit there and fester and end up being thrown out and I am annoyed at the waste and that I have not used them in something. 

A curry or a stew can take any left over vegetables cut up small and added to the pot.   One of my favourite methods however is stir frying them with sweet chilli sauce at the last minute and then serving them with the main meal.

Necessary ingredients 
Oil 
Onions  chopped finely 
Ginger chopped small 
Garlic chopped small
Sweet Chilli Sauce 
Spinach and or Watercress  -This is added at the very end and not cooked

Optional ingredients 
Carrots sliced
Green beans sliced
Courgettes sliced
Red and Green peppars
Fennel, Mange Tout, Celeriac cut very small 
Bacon Lardons 
Chilli chopped small depending on how hot you like it
Button Mushrooms or larger Mushrooms cut into small chunks 

Have all your vegetables ready chopped so you can concentrate on stir frying, take you eye off it and that is the point it will burn.   I find a wok the most useful pan for this , but a frying pan will do the job just as well.

We like the freshness of this dish and the crunch of vegetables. You can pre-boil the vegetables if you want but remember you take away the texture and goodness if you do this.  I don’t pre-cook them for this recipe.




About 5 minutes before serving heat the oil then add the onions and garlic to fry gently.  


Add the remaining vegetables,  root veg first with lighter vegetables at the end.  Keep the spinach and watercress out at this time.   If you are using bacon add it early as it requires thorough cooking.  Cut up small enough it will cook very quickly.  


Keep stirring  adding the other vegetables (keeping back the watercress and spinach still) as you stir.



Just before serving add in the sweet chilli sauce and make sure all the vegetables are coated.  You do not need a lot. 

Turn the heat off and put in the Spinach and Watercress, stir gently. Cover the pan and take to the table.  The steam and heat will wilt these leaves and allow them to retain all their goodness and vibrant colour.


Serve as a side dish or as a topping for baked potatoes. 

We had it with Risotto.   My children will not eat risotto with any additions so instead I add a separate dish and serve it as a topping. They are quite happy with this – so am I.  Not only do the children eat their vegetables, I have cleared the fridge of all the odds and ends.  

I have sometimes added left over cooked vegetables at the last minute as well.

See how this goes down.  It also would be great for a student all in one pot – add some sliced new potatoes (pre-boiled if possible) and keep the bacon, then use the vegetables available.    They could add kale or  spring greens a few seconds before end if they cannot get watercress or spinach.  

Let me know any other combinations that could be added.  I have served it with bbq sauce instead of sweet chilli, as a warm side salad to burgers or sausages.

Tiggy

See how life is treating us in  my other blog Tiggy Hayes
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Baked Jackets


This is a very popular way of serving Jacket Potatoes.  It does need a bit of pre-planning but if you prepare this earlier in the day it becomes a fabulous food to have following a cold damp bonfire party maybe after a bowl of steaming soup.

Ingredients

Large Baking Potatoes – 1 per person
Onion chopped
Bacon Lardons
Mixed Herbs
Dash of Olive Oil
Dash of milk
butter
Cheese grated – I use cheddar

Prick the potatoes and bake in a hot oven  for a good hour.





Towards the end of Baking, heat the oil in a small pan and fry the onions adding the bacon lardons.  




Add mixed herbs and cook well until the bacon is beginning to crisp.










Remove the potatoes from oven and  while still hot cut in half and empty shells into a large mixing bowl.








Add the butter and milk to mash the potatoes.



Then mix the bacon into the mashed potato.   Add half the grated cheese.






Return the potato mix back to the empty shells and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.






These can then be left until about 20 minutes before you are ready to eat when they need to go into a pre-heated cooker.  

Take out and serve piping hot with baked beans, salad or other vegetables.   They are very filling and very popular.


I have done this with mackerel fillets, leeks and feta cheese but there are so many combinations you could come up with.  Let me know which one goes down best in your household.


Tiggy

Find out what I am up to in my other blog  https://tiggyhayes.wordpress.com/



Simply Sausages

Sometimes I like to serve something different to sausage and mash, but in a family where they are all wary of anything different it is quite a challenge.  This disappeared of the table so quickly it became an instant hit.  I use cheap pork sausages, sometimes the thin ones so they all seem to be getting more.


Ingredients
Butter
Onions – sliced
Bacon lardons
Brown sugar a good generous sprinkling
Sausages – cut into half or even thirds if they are really big
Potatoes cut into 1cm diced squares 
Tomato puree again a good squeeze
Chicken stock enough to cover the whole dish 

I use a roasting dish to make this one but a casserole dish or even the slow cooker would work as well.



Melt the butter and add the onions cooking in a high heat, for about 5 minutes.  Watch them, stir if necessary.






Add the bacon lardons and a good sprinkling of brown sugar.  Give these about 10 minutes before adding the sausages and allowing them to brown slightly.





Add the diced potatoes, tomato puree and the chicken stock making sure the stock covers everything.  







Cook for at least an hour allowing the potatoes to be soft and the mixture to have thickened into a delicious tomato sauce.  If it starts to dry out add a little more water towards the end.  

Serve with vegetables of your choice.  I chose broccoli to give a splash of colour, but beans would go.  I have added eating apple to the dish which complements it.  See what you think!


The only reason my family didn’t help themselves to thirds and even fourths was it ran out.   I am thinking of doubling up next time, but this would make a great kids meal if you are not sure how many youngsters you have to feed.



Enjoy and let me know how you get on.

Tiggy 


Follow my other blog at Tiggy Hayes

Potato Pie




This came about after I had spent a couple of weeks in and out of hospital so had loads of potatoes left over that the rest of the family didn’t need having lived off pasta and takeaways.

Ingredients
Potatoes mashed with butter and milk
Bacon lardons  optional
Onion finely chopped
Mixed herbs
Marmite
Cheese – cheddar
Spinach


I boiled up the potatoes until they were very soft then mashed them really well with loads of butter and quite a lot of milk.  


In the meantime I had fried the bacon lardons and onions in a touch of butter then added the mixed herbs.


I then added a good teaspoon of marmite to the potato mix.  It needs to colour it but not overpower the potato.  Nobody should be able to realise what was added especially marmite haters such as my husband.  Mix in really well, this just adds a wonderful depth to the taste. 

I added the bacon mix at this point and mixed it all well.


Then add plenty of grated cheese –  I always use cheddar as I have plenty but you could use red Leicester which would give great colour, or a vegetarian alternative.


Then arrange in a baking dish.

A good layer of spinach makes this a meal in itself.  Add the potato mix as a complete layer.  If you have a small deep dish you could do spinach, potato, spinach, potato.  Then top it with another good covering of grated cheese.



This is now ready to pop into a hot oven 30 minutes before you are ready to serve.

A great filling warming dish, you could serve another vegetable or a salad with it.  I served with a bowl of baked beans that I had added a teaspoon of curry powder to.  I made enough for five but one child didn’t eat with us that night.  It all disappeared.

Enjoy and let me know how you try yours.

Tiggy

Follow my other blog at Tiggy Hayes

Cauliflower Cheese

Sometimes I like to serve something healthy and nearly vegetarian. 
Totally vegetarian dishes in a house full of growing athletic boys creates a feeling of  scarcity and hard done by.
I find bacon lardons or pancetta a fabulous addition to many dishes which otherwise could be vegetarian.  If you do not eat meat please leave out.
My husband and I had served cauliflower cheese as a side dish at our wedding because we both really like it and we had both chosen it on our first meal date.  Seventeen years later and he still loves my version of this simple dish adapted to allow it to be the star of the show. 
Ingredients
Bacon lardons / pancetta
Cauliflower /Broccoli  broken into spears
Spinach – I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in the fridge.
Tomatoes – I used small Vine cherry tomatoes and sliced them
Butter  / Milk  /  Flour
Mature tasting cheese – I used cheddar – grated
Bread – 2 slices  crumbed – a good use of crusts if you have some that will not be used
Firstly fry your bacon lardons using a tiny bit of butter if required until crispy.
Add butter, milk, flour and half the cheese to make a cheese sauce with the bacon in it.
Meanwhile  boil some water and put cauliflower in for a few minutes until just beginning to  soften.  Remove, leave to drain then add the broccoli spears to the water for a couple of minutes only.   Both these vegetables need some crunch left in them.  
Lay the spinach in the bottom or the dish.
Add cauliflower and broccoli to the dish and cover with the cheese sauce.
Top the dish with the sliced tomatoes.
I crumb my bread slices and then add the grated cheese to the mixed crumbs – this mixes them really well together.  Sprinkle liberally over the tomatoes.
Cook on high in the oven till the cheese sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown. 
Serve with fresh crusty bread or in this instant I served garlic bread. 
It goes down a treat and if in the unlikely event there is any left over makes a great lunch dish the following day.
Everyone will have their own method of making this dish from pre-cooking the vegetables to how to create the perfect cheese sauce.  How do you serve yours?   As a main dish or as a side, do you add broccoli or spinach or do you keep it true to the name?   We think the garlic bread compliments the meal really well but what would you like to serve with alongside the dish?
If you enjoyed this meal, check out my mumerings and comments on life by reading Tiggy Hayes.

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